A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

USS Cole survivor back in town Sunday

Mar 17, 2017 - -

A Purple Heart recipient originally from Riverton who was injured in the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000 is making her return to Riverton this weekend.

U.S. Navy veteran Cathie Lopez is scheduled to arrive at Riverton Regional Airport at about 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19. A welcoming ceremony is planned, and she will stay at the airport for a short visit.

The USS Cole, a navy guided-missile destroyer, was attacked by suicide bombers in a small motorboat on Oct. 12, 2000, while the Cole was being refueled in Aden Harbor, Yemen.

The small boat rammed the Cole, detonating explosives. Damage from the initial blast and subsequent fire killed 17 American sailors and injured 39 others.

Lopez was burned badly in the incident. She has been involved in ongoing legal proceedings since the attack and recently completed two weeks of court pre-trial conferences related to the case.

Robert and Gayle Jacob are helping coordinate welcoming ceremonies locally.

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